A warehouse in downtown Phoenix sounds like a forgotten circle of hell under the wrong conditions. With air conditioning and a convenient light rail line, however, it can seem a lot more inviting -- especially to tech startups fleeing the crippling prices of Silicon Valley. This may explain why the number of tech companies in Phoenix has grown fourfold since 2012, many of them setting up shop in this former sector of dilapidated warehouses near downtown.
With tech giants like WebPT and Galvanize have come the young, creative employees that every city covets. Plans to house them are in the works, including a three-city block project with 275 residential units and the forthcoming Studio Lofts, an all-brick structure with 31 loft spaces. A 21,000-square-foot building purchased this summer is rumored to be the area’s first entertainment development. San Francisco South it’s not, but for a sprawling city like Phoenix that’s never had much of a hip core, it’s a start.